Patrick Kavanagh met Hilda Moriarty in 1944. She was a 22-year-old medical student at University College Dublin. Kavanagh, who was 20 years older, became obsessed with Hilda Moriarty.

His love was unrequited and she later married Donogh O'Malley (who became a Fianna Fáil Minister for Education).

In an interview filmed for the documentary 'Gentle Tiger', Hilda Moriarty-O'Malley, who inspired 'On Raglan Road', explains the origins of the poem. Actor John Kavanagh sings an extract from 'On Raglan Road'.